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New Sanctions for Russian Gas Pipeline Fall Short in Senate

“The pipeline itself is the wedge,” Mr. McConnell reported. “That’s the entire position. That’s been Putin’s aim: decoupling Ukraine from Europe and generating Europe even far more reliant on Russian gasoline.”

Mr. Cruz’s legislation set off a fierce spherical of lobbying, squeezing in specific centrist Democrats who have extended been supporters of Ukraine. On a Xmas Eve online video get in touch with with a bipartisan group of a lot more than 20 lawmakers, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine forged Nord Stream 2 as an existential danger to his nation, arguing that the pipeline posed as significantly possibility to Ukraine as the Russian troops amassing on its border, in accordance to 4 folks briefed on the simply call, who described it on problem of anonymity simply because they were being not approved to remark on it.

Mr. Zelensky, they claimed, expressed frustration that the Biden administration experienced waived sanctions on the pipeline previous yr. Due to the fact then, Mr. Zelensky has promoted Mr. Cruz’s bill on Twitter.

A lobbyist who signifies the Ukrainian oil and gas marketplace, together with the condition-owned organization Naftogaz, arrived at out this week to the places of work of Senate Democrats to urge aid for Mr. Cruz’s invoice, according to a particular person common with the outreach.

An e-mail sent on Monday to Senate places of work by the lobbyist, which was forwarded to The New York Times, included a screenshot of Mr. Zelensky’s tweet, and included the information, “Ukraine Pres. Zelensky calls on all senators to vote in favor of Nord Stream 2 sanctions.”

But the Biden administration marshaled its individual forces against the laws. Responding to a request for a briefing by two Democratic senators, the State Division despatched officials to Capitol Hill on Monday to short lawmakers and dissuade them from supporting the bill. The following working day, the problem came up once more as senators met with Secretary of Condition Antony J. Blinken in a shut-door meeting to talk about an approaching delegation vacation to Ukraine.

In an energy to even more head off defections, Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the chairman of the International Relations Committee, unveiled on Wednesday a Democratic choice to Mr. Cruz’s invoice that would impose sanctions on prime Russian governing administration officials, which includes Mr. Putin, if Russia engages in or supports “a sizeable escalation in hostilities or hostile action in or against Ukraine.” It would also supply Ukraine with $500 million in supplemental unexpected emergency security assistance in the occasion that Russia invades.

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